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Hurricane Irene scuppers Newport Bucket

The 25th Newport Bucket Regatta, slated to begin on Saturday, has been cancelled because of the threat posed by Hurricane Irene.

Captains yesterday met Hank Halsted, director of the New England event, to discuss the approaching storm and the group agreed to cancel the race. They decided it was necessary to allow participants to prepare and make safe their superyachts, a process which can be time consuming and they may not have time to complete if they were in race mode on Saturday.

Irene has swept through the Caribbean towards the US East Coast and is expected to make landfall in North Carolina on Saturday. The US National Hurricane Centre forecasts it will become a Category 4 storm, with winds of 135 miles per hour, as early as today. Related storms are expected along the coast.

But while Irene has scuppered the racing, she hasn’t been allowed to poop the party. Five Bucket yachts are already in Martha’s Vineyard for the lobster bake and feeder race to Newport. Three of these yachts are travelling to Maine on Friday.

Owners, crew and guests will also be able to enjoy the Bucket Bash at the Newport Shipyard, which has been moved from Saturday to Friday. It will still feature food and festivities to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the legendary regatta.

The next year’s event will be held 24-26 August 2012.

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